January 11, 2014

The Day I Pretended To Be Parisian

Dear Women of Paris,

Do you eat morphine for breakfast?

[Maybe it's hidden in the cigarettes?]

Because your feet, legs, back, and brain must be absolutely NUMB to wear those high heeled shoes all day long.

I've never been much of a "heel girl." I think I wore the same pair of high heels exactly twice during my four years of college; once for a ridiculous costume night on the town, and the second time was for a school skit. Clearly, I was serious about my fancy shoes. These high heels were from high school prom - and hot pink.

It all started with my bright idea to show off my gorgeous (and by gorgeous, yes, I do mean they are just all black and leather and there is really nothing that spectacular about them) Alberto Fermani black leather handmade high heel boots. Ever since I bought them off Tanya and her thrift store finds, I had wondered about their actual worth. When I finally Googled my way into the world of ritzy Italian leather boots, I found the current equivalent of the boots in my possession to be priced at six hundred and seventy-five dollars.

The proper response was probably to lock them in the wall safe we don't have, but instead I chose to wear them. All day. In Paris. Beating my feet to death.

I ventured out confidently on free museum Sunday this January, feeling oh-so-chic in boots that someone once paid more for than my own wedding dress. I managed quite well; nobody else would have known I wanted nothing more than to walk around barefoot for the remainder of the day.

This is how I now know that Parisian women are the best liars in the world. I also now understand why all the women stare at the ground while they walk; their cramping feet must not misstep. And don't you dare try to explain to me that you have "comfortable high heels" - NO. Not only is that an oxymoron, but it's also another lie; just because a high heeled shoe is more comfortable than another high heeled shoe does NOT mean they are, in reality, comfortable shoes. #realitycheck

I began to adapt to my new needs and problems. Oh, a bench? DIBS! Do not battle a high-heeled woman for a seat. I was prepared to heel stab the elderly and/or children for those coveted resting points. I would try to stay seated as long as possible wherever I was planted, feigning a fully engrossed fascination with my notebook. And to know my boots are but a dream to the women who torture themselves with stilettos and 4+ inches of height!

A [very small] part of me feels sorry for the French ladies gingerly taking every path of least resistance all over the cobbled and uneven streets of Paris everyday. And then I remember - nobody forces them to wear those shoes, let alone buy them! It's hard to have empathy for someone who knowingly chooses to inflict pain on themselves and their bank accounts ($675 for leather to put on your feet?!). The chic shoe issue definitely applies to what my Uncle Mike says: "The French are slaves to aesthetics."

[Therefore, DO NOT feel sorry for me. This was MY idiot experiment. Just learn from my experience. I know I have.]

After the first hour, my feet were basically finito, but I stayed out another seven hours, balancing my way through two museums (Conciergerie & Cluny), church, dinner, and dessert. Then I had to walk home from our train station. Normally eight minutes. Always uphill.

As I winced my way home, all I thought was: my feet do not feel like $675.

I don't care how nice a pair of high heels looks on the outside. If you're walking any actual distance, pack some slippers to wear until you arrive at whatever destination where spiked feet are an entry requirement. Flat women's shoes were invented, like, a hundred years ago. I encourage you to try them and find out what you've been missing (enjoyable walks, views of beautiful high buildings and trees, comfort, endurance, happiness, joy...a good life).

And as for my darling Alberto Fermanis? No, they are not for sale. They have, however, been relegated to limited minutes and sedentary activities. For the time being, they will look and feel much nicer on the shoe rack.
   

18 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always feel so lacking in style when I'm in Paris. Not only don't I have enough room in my carry-on for chic clothes, I know that I won't be able to walk miles and miles around the city in stylish heels. I've got a long history with heels and enjoy wearing them, but I think you have to be a local wearing them for short periods of time, not a visitor (like me) trying to see as much as possible in a day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cathy! Yes, I totally agree about the "limited time" factor with heels! I have found boots and TOMS to be my go-to chic shoes when moving around Paris, and they blend so much better than running shoes! Also, for whatever strange reason, the French are obsessed with Chuck Taylor's, so if you have those sneakers, you're golden! Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  3. Love this! I still approach cobbled streets with my heart in my throat when wearing boots here in Bordeaux ! #Allaboutfrance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kim! I know, right?! Maybe cobblestone was meant to help us take our time when walking around... :)

      Delete
  4. Ha Ha too funny, I feel your pain!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another flat shoe wearer feeling your pain. I can never wear my heels out because I always have to walk too far from the car park/metro station/whatever to the venue and even that is too much. There's no way I could do a day of sightseeing in heels. My heels tend to sit in the cupboard too!!! Thanks for linking up to #AllAboutFrance Christy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why are all of the parking lots SO FAR from the destinations?!?! At least our closets have pretty decorations in them! ;) Love #AllAboutFrance!

      Delete
  6. Very funny. I'm a comfy flats type of girl too. Every now and then I go silly with girlie heels and regret it for days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jacqueline! Yes, why can't the heels feel as great as they look! SO frustrating! Ha, but at least they make fun shoes without the spikes! :)

      Delete
  7. Oh man, your poor feet! I'll learn from your day in heels. Now that I think of it, I think I wore a pair of heels for one appointment about a year ago and that's it. I wear low-heeled boots, flats or sneakers most of the time and I can't say I miss the heels!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My feet were NOT happy! Glad to find other women who rock the no-heel look, too! Thanks for stopping by, Diane!

      Delete
  8. Very funny account! I also took my favourite high heels to Paris when we travelled there, cunningly planning to wear them the night that we dined at a restaurant a few doors from the hotel. Sadly we were turned away and instead had to walk a greater distance than planned to another venue - I deeply regretted my choice though I hope I looked as chic as one can with 2 small children in tow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Menai! Well, you definitely looked chic, because all the Parisian moms totally rock "heels with kids!" You totally had it all planned out - I hate when high heel plans backfire!! :) I guess the most impressive thing about Parisian women is that if they have kids, they don't let it affect their style, and will continue to take really great care of themselves (or maybe they care too much...hahaha, depends on the woman)! Thanks for reading! :)

      Delete